One of the most underrated positions in all of football is a nose tackle, they basically determine the success of a 3-4 defense. The sad reality of the position though is that it is often neglected by teams because they believe they can fill that role with someone more undersized and athletic, which let me tell you as a Redskins fan it does not work. As a result, guys who could be very solid NFL starters like Eddie Vanderdoes, Steve Tu’ikolovatu, and my personal favorite DeAngelo Brown slip in drafts because of the NFL’s devaluing of the position.
Brown had a really solid career at the University of Louisville especially for a nose tackle. He had 107 tackles, 22 TFL, and 5 sacks in his 33 starts in four years. He was outstanding his Senior as he tallied 13 TFL and 3 sacks while starting most of the season for the Cardinals. His performance on the year was good enough to earn him a spot in the East-West Shrine game where he showed off his incredible strength against interior offensive lineman prospects.
Brown may not light up the stat sheet or be a pro bowl player at the next level, but he has the ability to be the anchor for a teams defense for many years. At worst, I see Brown as a solid rotational run defender who possesses the ability to push the pocket on passing downs.
Name: DeAngelo Brown
Size: 6’0”/ 312 lbs
Comparison: Dan Williams (Oakland Raiders)
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Pro Day: 40 Time: 5.59, Bench Press: 36
Strengths: Outstanding strength, able to withstand blockers even when off balance or getting a late jump off the line. Solid anchor in his lower body allows him to drive interior lineman back when his pad level is low. Instinctual player who is very disciplined in his gap assignments. Lateral movement is alright for a player of his size. Conditioning definitely improved his senior year, was able to play a high amount of snaps late in games effectively. Active footwork, feet are constantly moving. Possesses a decent amount of pass rush moves that can win at the next level. High effort player with a great motor. Performed very well at the Shrine Game against other potential NFL talent.
Weaknesses: Below average athlete as a whole. When diagnosing the play, he is too slow and stiff to make a difference at times. Explosion off the line is poor, very stiff out of his stance. Really needs to improve pad level to be effective in the NFL. Could win with upper body strength when pad level is high in college but will certainly struggle in the pros if he doesn’t improve in this area. Needs to improve his stack and shed ability, very slow to disengage from blocks and make plays in space. Needs to learn to get his hands up in the way of throwing lanes against the pass.
Overview: DeAngelo Brown has the physical make up to be a very solid nose tackle at the next level. He possesses incredible strength and has a very strong base when engaging blocks. The biggest stride he took this last season was his conditioning where he played a noticeable higher snap count and played those snaps at a higher level. Brown will likely go late day 3 but has the potential to be a 10+ year starter at nose tackle for whichever team drafts him.